Locate a museum that has a respected aircraft photo collection. Talk to them about their accession policy. What are they looking for, and in what format? It’s a fact that newer material will be less welcome, but what you shoot today might eventually be of value to someone. I have done this, and at present have about 500 images in a museum's collection here in the States, and hope to contribute more as time allows. Some museums, I am told, will keep what they want and sell the rest off. Something to ask when you approach such an organization.
How will digital shooters answer the question of “Where will my photos go?” Those who have not uploaded 100% of their shots to A.net might want to know. If the images are backed up onto a common media, and that seems to be CD-R right now, then I suppose you can shop the media around looking for a home for them. But just like traditional photos/negs/slides, it’s better that you, the photographer, do this work. Your survivors and and-of-runway buddies will not have the same level of incentive.
Speaking of EOR shots. Let’s face it, there is overkill here. We see it on A.net. We see it at airshows (though probably less than 10% of all airshow shots are high quality). We see it at photo tours. I shot the Griffis AFB flightline in the ECAP group about 8 years ago. Each aircraft was photographed about 350 times, and I wonder to this day what we accomplished. But the camaraderie made it worth it, along with the outrageous remarks and stories. Anyway, we sure were guilty of overkill.
I once had photos refused by an historical organization because they “were too current and had no historical value.” This response of theirs really pissed me off, and I quit the organization then and there. About 20 years later I was a member again, and they were glad to publish my photos. In an unrelated matter they pissed me off again and I quit again, but that’s another story.
Collection buyers exist, but I know little of their activities save for one or two. The one or two I am talking about buy collections and then send the images around to print publications where many of them appear credited to the buyer’s name, rather than the original photographer.
I heard a photographer tell me he was thinking of destroying his collection rather than let it fall into the hands of unscrupulous buyers. I was shocked. Since then, through reading various photo magazines, I have learned that this has happened on a number occasions with famous photographers of the 1920s through 1950s. I don’t know what was going through the minds of these particular photographers, but I know that I have an increasing dislike for those who persist in getting their names attached to the work of others.
There are many on A.net who are taking pictures for fun and who don't care about archival life or historical value. Anyone who has read the Kodachrome film topics know what I am talking about. Still, with the passage of time and ongoing investment in a collection, even the more casual shooters are likely to ask the questions you have posed, Erik.